Collective Now
Supporting SIDE Cinema’s online programme through the Film Exhibition Fund

SIDE Cinema continue their (OFF)SIDE programme with a season exploring the work of film collectives.

Newcastle’s SIDE Cinema is an intimate, 51-seat venue formed more than 40 years ago as a “debate cinema” – a place where film, audiences and makers meet for a collective, rigorous discussion about the moving image and the stories it can tell.

Social distancing and reduced capacities mean that SIDE’s cosy home can’t open its doors at the moment, but the cinema’s commitment to shared film experiences and collective discussion has found new life and expanded horizons online. Collective Now is SIDE’s latest online programme, running from 20 May – 10 June 2021 with support from National Lottery funding through Film Hub North’s Film Exhibition Fund.

As the name suggests, Collective Now focuses on films made by collectives, rooted in their communities and which challenge mainstream media representations. It’s a subject close to SIDE’s heart. The cinema itself was born out of the Amber Film & Photography Collective: a group formed in 1968 with the aim of documenting working class life in the North East, and who remain one of the most active collectives formed in the UK’s grassroots filmmaking boom of the 60s and 70s.

Collective Now connects Amber’s history of cooperative filmmaking with a resurgent tradition seen around the world as a growing number of grassroots organisations take matters and media into their own hands.

The season presents work from the Rojava Film Commune – a collective organising filmmaking infrastructure and documenting daily life in Northern Syria – and Unicorn Riot, a decentralised, non-profit media organisation connecting and empowering community-based creators in cities across the US.

The line-up also features two events examining media’s potentially coercive role in a post-truth society: Erase and Forget; Andrea Luka Zimmerman’s analysis of the bonds between Hollywood’s fictionalised conflicts and their real life counterparts, and This Trust Idea; a new commission from Andrew Wilson exploring the role of conspiracy and trust in our experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Each event, of course, features an extended Q&A session bringing together filmmakers, audiences and commentators. And, as a statement of intent and a sign of things to come, the season’s final event will be streamed from SIDE itself, reawakening the North East’s long-dormant debate cinema.

Explore Collective Now

Collective Now is supported by National Lottery funding through our Film Exhibition Fund. For more information on how we can help your next project, contact our team or visit our Exhibition Funding landing page.